Sex work grey zone


I know theres other people here who were sex workers or prostitutes or whatever you want to call it. Wondering how you define it in your head.
Its such a grey zone thing for me. On one hand i chose to start and stay in that business for 10ish years. On the other hand I was 14 when I started. And I personally cant think of even one other person in the sex industry who I knew who wasnt molested or whatever as a kid. And who didnt start that work underage.
So on one hand i think of it as really abusive. But i have happy memories of that time of course.
Theres mixed reactions from people like doctors or therapists or people here, from What Fun! What Excitement! Sexy! Lucky You! to shame and a hope that I can forgive myself for the bad shit I done.
I get it because there is a mixed reaction in me too. From the idea that it was just a thing I did to survive to understanding the abuse in it. But even if I see it as abuse, the issues it brings up are sooo different from the foster care stuff I went through too.

So I deciding do I want to forget it, it was what it was. Do I want to find someone who gets it and deal with this. Do I want to make it fit into a child abuse box and deal that way. Idk the best thing to do that will help me put it away and move on. That was all a looooong time ago and I have a completely different life now.


I sincerely hope you can find someone to help you through this. Thank you for being so brave in posting this
“So I deciding do I want to forget it, it was what it was.”

Jacats we are all different but I gotta ask - Is this a real option? I tried to put the past in a bottle and toss it away for four decades and eventually the cork blew up from the pressure to keep it forgotten. I’m not you. Perhaps the fact you posted the question answers it?

“Do I want to find someone who gets it and deal with this.” Seems the best choice in my 2020 hindsight.


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I think that maybe you are there already jacats, or well on your way. I have heard so many times( and i believe it to be true) " the secrets keep us sick" You have put out that flame and as you say it was what it was. something you had to do. was it abusive? certainly but oddly there are other more positive factors if you choose to see them in that way. You were able to make it through a very dangerous situation, you took care of your needs in whatever way you could at the time. there is a lot of strength in your story. No doubt there is shame and pain and other things as well.

I think sometimes if we are not careful we give too much sway to the fact that we are survivors. once the cork is out and the realization hits home that it feels good not to carry THEIR secrets we begin the next therapy or meds if they are necessary and on it goes until being a survivor becomes almost our whole identity. we are so much more, YOU are so much more. a friend, a dad, a lover, whatever other hat you might wear.

Just as true though I think that trying to "forget it" is a mistake as well. like it or not we are put together layer each day of our lives. being a survivor is a part of that. who we are drives every decision, influences every thought. and if we are able to forget that. then we miss understanding a huge part of what drives us. why we act and do what we do. Im not sure this answer is helpful but i am glad you felt you could post it. and I do hope you find YOUR answer.
Therapist work. Though it is a different kind of CSA and ASA, as you were (kinda) a willing participant, there are still wounds and scars that need healing.
So I deciding do I want to forget it, it was what it was. Do I want to find someone who gets it and deal with this. Do I want to make it fit into a child abuse box and deal that way. Idk the best thing to do that will help me put it away and move on. That was all a looooong time ago and I have a completely different life now.
From my perspective

Forgetting doesn't work. When we try to forget our mind flags it and stores it for later reminders that you haven't finished this task yet.

Fitting everything into the sexual abuse box doesn't work either, that box is only meant to hold certain things and when we stuff to many other things in it then it breaks and that is why it comes spilling out.

Everything we do in our lives has a positive and negative side to it. It's your choice how you remember this and how you move forward from it.

Finding a person or people to talk about it with who have experienced a similar thing is a great idea, yet remember not all will have your perspective as we all have our own filters.

Posting about it shows that you are not ruled by it but you have started to put it in its own place in your life.


Ultimately, it's up to you to process your experiences as a sex worker in the way you feel is best for you. However, I don't think you can really say that you "chose" to start and stay with it, given the circumstances at the time (a young teen escaping an abusive foster home without any alternatives besides living on the street). In my opinion, that's not the same as choosing. Choosing implies that there are other options, and I'm guessing that there weren't any.

It's very, very disturbing that people here would either shame you for that part of your past or start breathing heavy (and that's how I interpret anyone who would exclaim, "What Fun! What Excitement! Sexy! Lucky You!" about underage prostitution). Those reactions--both the shaming and getting aroused--are forms of re-victimization and inappropriate (especially here).

Good luck as you work through your experiences.
Dear Jacats

I agree with Mani(pulated. The option of forgetting about it will bite your ass sooner or later. Also AlexBoyd is right "choosing" when
you have not reached the age of consent is not even legally a choice. I want to share some of my experiences and see if they offer you some experiences that "get it" and offer you the option of knowing there are people on these forums who see the world more like you do.


When I was 13 and 14 my mother decided an unemployed friend of hers could care for me when I was sick. She worked full time.

He decided he would do me orally and lecture me that this was normal for ancient Greeks. I THOUGHT i WAS PROSTITUTING MYSELF.
After eight or ten months of this, including oral and anal rape. my mother explained that her friend was probably a "latent" homosexual. I totld her he was not latent. She asked if I liked being penetrated. I said no it hurt. She said then I was O K. This just reinforced the idea that I was being
prostituted. That in the evening, when she was working up stairs, he would be downstairs with me (maybe 20 yards away ) molesting or
abusing me. Since she was aware of his predetory nature, I assumed she wanted me to comply. Did I enjoy his sexual actions?sometimes.
Did I get attention and getting things and getting them mailed to my girlfriend?

I certainly did not think of this as malignant. I thought I had a deal he would fly me to New York for a weekend. But, my mother would not let me go. That is when she told me about him.

When I was older, in my thirties, I worked with people who had histories of mental illness. Some of them had been sexually abused. One
young man was trying to reconcile with his mother since he felt she had abandoned him and her was in a foster home where he was
sexually assaulted several times by his foster father. We shared our experiences and were able to mutually understand that the
presence of your mother in the house was not the slution for protection from sexual abuse. He felt he was being prostituted by the staye and hd no options but to run away which would send hime to juvenile hall or put up with it.

These are difficult choices we had to make. We did the best we could with what we had. Sure sometimes the choices were not all pain. Sure sometimes we had experieces that were hard and made you bitter. Sometimes with limited options we rationalized how it was ok or even
better than the alternatives.

I hope tnis give you a perspective about how are experiences have taught us not to judge.

May you go with God, may He Bless you on your journey..


Not sure the answers but its feeling shitty right now. Getting really into my current life does help but not totally in a good way. Leads to obsessive shit over stupid things. But not willing to risk getting fucked up by dealing with it. Maybe when my sons grown up.

It seems waaaaay to self indulgent to dig into how its all fucked me up. Right now in life i need to be not fucked up and the best way to do that seems like by just ignoring and focusing on today shit.



i am a bit under the weather, but I really want to respond. Just a warning that I may not write complete sentences.

I see different criteria for looking at sex work as abuse. If a healthy adult enters the profession completely free and clear of any extenuating issues, fine. Sad, but ok.

but a minor selling himself to survive is a whole other matter.

I hustled. I could add tons of qualifiers: not ofter, I wasn’t any good, only when I needed money. So I seemed completely in control and conscious of what I was doing.

until you take it apart.
My first trick was the morning after I excaped the guy who kidnapped me. It was only hours after a sicko paralyzed my limbs with a micky, chocked me , tried to make me drink piss, threatened to kill me, threaten to smash my mouth in. An hour later the guy who kidnapped me raped me with huge cucumbers. I was a virgin just hours before. Oh and all I had to eat for 4 days were 2 burgers, 2 fries and a soda.
What state was I in out there on the highway when a ride offered me money?
Money, fuck I could get cigarettes and breakfast, two breakfasts! I thought, man if you really want to go down on me as dirty as I was I will take your money. It was a numb fuck you.
Was I in control or did my situation break me?

@jacats were you in control or was your situation so overwhelming it was a reasonable option?

damn, I wish I could hug you until it all drained away.

I know you need to get yourself together here and now. But I can tell you all of this will tug at you, undermine all your good intentions. You went through hell. Not looking doesn’t make it go away. It unleashes it to attack just when you are so close.

please don’t close the door on this. My life is so insanely better then I ever imagined it could be, especially when I was that kid alone and scared

i am so sorry if I crossed any lines. But I feel so strongly for you.

I hope you can feel the peace I do (more often then not)
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